Join Tik-Tok, the Shaggy Man, and a host of other friends–both old and new–on an exciting, imaginative journey through the world of Oz.
The fun begins in an isolated corner of Oz, in the small country of Oogaboo. There Queen Ann Soforth musters an unlikely army and sets off to conquer the rest of Oz. Meanwhile, a girl from Oklahoma named Betsy Bobbin and her companion, Hank the mule, are shipwrecked and washed ashore in the Rose Kingdom, a magical land of talking roses. There they meet the Shaggy Man, who is on a quest to rescue his brother from the clutches of the wicked Nome King. Betsy, Hank, and the Rose Princess join the Shaggy Man on his journey, and before long they meet up with Polychrome, the Rainbow’s Daughter; Tik-Tok; and Queen Ann with her army. The rest of Baum’s tale is filled with hairbreadth escapes, wild puns, and mystifying magic.
One of the more plot driven Oz books, Tik-Tok of Oz is in fact not about Oz, but other fairy lands. After hearing so much about Oz and seeing the same sights and characters, it was nice to experience other lands. There is not enough substance to Oz itself for it to be the setting of so many books, so by incorporating other lands, the series can extend a lot further. There is Oogaboo where all things grow on trees, the Rose Garden where the flowers are alive, and the kingdom of the Great Titi-Hoochoo.
Instead of a simple journey, Tik-Tok of Oz has a very interesting plot that is not too predictable. The Shaggy Man wants to find his brother, Queen Ann wishes to conquer the world and the Nome King must prevent them from entering his kingdom. These three plots intersect in interesting ways and everyone’s individual motive comes into play. It was filled with suspense and was actually quite gripping at times.
Once again, Baum comments of the nature of armies, but also on beauty, greed and systems of government. I loved his humorous puns and word plays and hidden words of wisdom.
Though there are not as many new characters as perhaps there were in the previous books, they were wonderful all the same. I loved revisiting the Nome King, Polychrome, Tik-Tok and the Shaggy Man and meeting new ones who’ll hopefully make reappearances later on.
The ending was sweet and predictable, but I loved the extra layer of character development on the Nome King’s plight. It added an extra bit of depth to the story, and complex enemies are always more interesting.
I can’t wait for the next one!
Other Oz books:
Ozma of Oz (#3)
The Road to Oz (#5)